Cannes stars take discreet stances on Gaza war

A worker sets up a large canvas of the 77th Cannes Film Festival official poster, which pays tribute to Japanese master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and his late career feature 'Rhapsody in August', on the facade of the festival palace ahead of the festival's opening ceremony, in Cannes, France, 12 May, 2024.Reuters

They may be attending one of the glitziest festivals on the planet, but some personalities in Cannes are signalling they have not forgotten the war in Gaza.

Laura Blajman-Kadar, a survivor of the 7 October attacks on Israel, swept up the red carpet on Tuesday in a bright yellow dress calling for the release of Israeli hostages still held in Gaza.

Laura Blajman-Kadar, survivor of the 7 October attack wearing a scarf reading "Bring them home" and a dress with portraits of the hostages, protests on the red carpet, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza, during arrivals for the screening of the film "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" out of competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, 15 May, 2024.

Her dress, in a colour that has become synonymous with the cause, featured the images of some of the hostages.

French actress Leila Beikhti was more discreet, pinning a pro-Palestinian watermelon heart broach to her black dress for the same premiere of "Furiosa".

French actress Leila Bekhti arrives for the screening of the film 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga' at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on 15 May, 2024.

Last month she recorded a video with the UN children's fund UNICEF calling for humanitarian aid to help the children in the war-torn Palestinian territory.

A day earlier, a French actor Philippe Torreton wore a yellow ribbon to show support for the Israeli hostages.

Jury member Omar Sy, of "Lupin" fame, at the start of the festival called for a ceasefire on Instagram. "There is nothing that justifies the killing of children, in Gaza. Or anywhere," he wrote.

Jury member of the 77th Cannes Film Festival Omar Sy poses on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film 'Megalopolis' in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, 16 May, 2024.

Palestinian militant group Hamas's 7 October attack on Israel resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

The militants also seized about 250 hostages, 128 of whom Israel estimates remain in Gaza, including 38 the military says are dead.

Israel's military retaliation has killed at least 35,272 people, also mostly civilians, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Few films linked to the Middle East conflict are screening in Cannes.

A documentary out of competition to screen on Friday is titled "The Belle of Gaza" but bears little relation to the conflict.

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